Filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson and his wife/muse Milla Jovovich are teaming up for a non-Resident Evil action movie this year with The Three Musketeers, the latest screen adaptation of Alexander Dumas’ beloved 1844 adventure novel.

A new featurette has been released for the film, which aims to be even more of an “updated” and contemporary take on the Three Musketeers story than Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes or any one of the upcoming modernized takes on classic 19th century literature (see: Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, etc.).

The previous Three Musketeers trailers have made it no secret that Anderson’s film not only adds 3D gimmickry and modern action movie staples to the mix (slow-mo fighting, accelerated editing), it also incorporates seemingly incongruous technology into the story. Flamethrowers, flying 17th century ships, mechanized crossbows – all that and more show up in Anderson’s Musketeers movie at some point.

Here is the big question, though: Does that mean the film will be a badass period adventure, like star Logan Lerman has promised? Or will it all be too over-the-top and ridiculous for even younger moviegoers, who are the more likely to accept this sort of interpretation of Dumas’ Three Musketeers story?

Check out the new Three Musketeers featurette (via iTunes Movie Trailers) below and decide what you think:

Anderson wisely recruited actors with action movie experience – like Matthew Macfadyen (Robin Hood), Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans), and Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone) – to portray the actual Musketeers. Likewise, few actresses could convincingly perform Wanted-style stunts in a corset and flowing gown like Jovovich – not to mention that Mads Mikkelson (Casino Royale) and Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) both look appropriately menacing as the eyepatch-wearing Rochefort and villainous Cardinal Richelieu, respectively.

Orlando Bloom as the Duke of Buckingham, on the other hand… well, his appearance alone is a good example of why it’s difficult to say if Three Musketeers will be a hammy but fun period adventure (a la the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie) – or just too dumb to work.

"My hair is doing what, did you say?"

Three Musketeers was co-scripted by Andrew Davies, who has worked on many a period drama in the past (see: the TV mini-series versions of Wives and Daughters, Sense & Senibility, etc.) – and Alex Litvak, whose sole other writing credit is Predators. So, yeah, Anderson’s film is clearly attempting to work as a marriage between semi-authentic historical storytelling and contemporary mindless action. We’ll just have to wait and see if he can actually pull that (un)holy matrimony off.

The Three Musketeers will arrive in 2D and 3D theaters around the U.S. on October 21st, 2011.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers